From Freeways of Busyness to the Feeder Roads of Rest

Finally, everybody agrees that no one pursuit can be successfully followed by a man who is preoccupied with many things—eloquence cannot, nor the liberal studies—since the mind, when distracted, takes in nothing very deeply, but rejects everything that is, as it were, crammed into it. There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living: there is nothing that is harder to learn.
— Seneca

I’m in the backseat of our Volkswagen Jetta right now with a couple friends—Stacy Dockery and Jeff Hennigan—taking 101 North from San Francisco up to toward Healdsburg, CA.   As I look out the window I’m observing cars clipping along at 65 MPH.  Off to my far right, parallel to HWY 101 are feeder and frontage roads with cars strolling and pausing at a snail-pace.   I watch as a Honda Accord segues from one of these snail-pace feeder roads onto the rat-race freeway.   In order to move onto a path of non-stop 65 miles per hour-ness  she searches out an on ramp where she can get caught up to speed and then merge into the lanes designated for free travel.    Apparently a Silverado truck to our left needs to stop.   For the past quarter mile he has been making his way, ever-so-carefully, over to the far right lane where he has found an off-ramp that will feed him into the snail-pace frontage roads where he can then stop without causing an accident or mayhem.     These two paths the rat-race and snail-pace coexist but in different lanes, serving different but necessary functions.   The freeway aids in keeping commute orderly and economizing the time, whereas the feeder roads and ramps function as go-betweens to the moving commute world and the arriving destination spot.   

"Be still and know that I am God."--Psalm 46:10

"Be still and know that I am God."--Psalm 46:10

This vehicular activity seems a fitting metaphor for life and its movement.    We spend many years searching for the on-ramps to our careers, businesses, and occupations.   Education brings us up to speed where we are then jettisoned out into the rat-race world of our nine-to-five lives.   Once on these freeways with bumper-to-bumper racing and pushing forward we often misappropriate the function of the freeway thinking our lives were meant to be lived in hastiness and always striving for the go, go, go.   And by the time we realize we need to slow down, we become unsure of how to transition off and how frequently to move off.   We need some off-ramps and we need someone to direct us in moving over and slowing down to refuel, stretch, and break.  We need a spiritual space to break and repurpose the freeways of life.

 

Solemn Assembly is an off-ramp.   It's a designated pathway that permits you to exit the rat-race, slow down, and catch your spiritual breath in God.   Gathering together with other God-gazers who realize their need for a break from the monotony, and more importantly acknowledge God is the break they need, is what the Creator means when he says in our stillness we will know that God is God.   This soul-know frees us from the oppression of messianic complexes and woos us into the grace of being human. 

 

2014
Solemn Assembly

sol·emn  as·sem·bly
noun

  1. a group of people who have gathered together in one place for the sacred purpose of resisting the machinations of urban busyness.
  2. a space of time designated for communal prayer, contemplation and prophetic renewal.
  3. an activity involving fasting for religious purposes.

 

Theme:     God-Lovers.
Schedule: Tuesday October 28- Thursday October 30 (6:30PM-9:00PM).  
                  Come and go at your own leisure. 

  • Tuesday, October 28.  SevenPrayer Stations that spiritually direct us into rest, reflection, communion, meditating on God’s love.
  •  Wednesday, October 29.   Seven Prayer Stations that spiritually direct us into rest, reflection, communion, meditating on God’s love.
  • Thursday, October 30.  Prophetic Prayer.   On Thursday we will open up our time for more lively and animated prayer.   If you need a “word” or direction or a deeper spiritual infusion of God’s Presence several of our prayer and worship leaders will be present to pray with you.